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manuals of devotion, nor of scorching their
faces with books of housewifery. Florilla
desires to know if there are any books writ-
ten against prudes, and entreats me, if
there are, to give them a place in my li-
brary. Plays of all sorts have their several
advocates: All for Love, is mentioned in
above fifteen letters; Sophonisba, or Han-No. 93.] Saturday, June 16, 1711.
nibal's Overthrow, in a dozen; The Inno-
cent Adultery is likewise highly approved"
of; Mithridates, King of Pontus, has many
friends; Alexander the Great and Aureng-
zebe have the same number of voices; but
Theodosius, or the Force of Love, carries
it from all the rest.

would lead astray weak minds by their false
pretences to wit and judgment, humour and
gallantry, I shall not fail to lend the best
light I am able to the fair sex for the con-
tinuation of these their discoveries.

I should, in the last place, mention such books as have been proposed by men of learning, and those who appear competent judges of this matter, and must here take occasion to thank A. B. whoever it is that conceals himself under these two leters, for his advice upon this subject. But as I find the work I have undertaken to be very difficult, I shall defer the executing of it till I am further acquainted with the thoughts of my judicious contemporaries, and have time to examine the several books they offer to me: being resolved, in an affair of this moment, to proceed with the greatest


-Spatio brevi


Spem longam reseces; dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Etas; carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
Hor. Lib. 1. Od. xi. 6.

Thy lengthen'd hopes with prudence bound
Proportion'd to the flying hour:
While thus we talk in careless ease,
The envious moments wing their flight;
Instant the fleeting pleasure seize,

Nor trust to-morrow's doubtful light.


WE all of us complain of the shortness of time, saith Seneca, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives, says he, are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them. That noble phisopher has described our inconsistency ourselves in this particular, by all those various turns of expression and · In the meanwhile, as I have taken the thought which are peculiar to his writings. ladies under my particular care, I shall I often consider mankind as wholly inmake it my business to find out in the best consistent with itself in a point that bears authors, ancient and modern, such passages some affinity to the former. Though we as may be for their use, and endeavour to seem grieved at the shortness of life in accommodate them as well as I can to their general, we are wishing every period of it taste; not questioning but that the valuable at an end. The minor longs to be at age, part of the sex will easily pardon me, if then to be a man of business, then to make from time to time I laugh at those little up an estate, then to arrive at honours, then vanities and follies which appear in the be- to retire. Thus although the whole life haviour of some of them, and which are is allowed by every one to be short, the more proper for ridicule than a serious cen- several divisions of it appear long and tesure. Most books being calculated for male dious. We are for lengthening our span in readers, and generally written with an eye general, but would fain contract the parts to men of learning, makes a work of this of which it is composed. The usurer would nature the more necessary; besides, I am be very well satisfied to have all the time encouraged, because I flatter my- annihilated that lies between the present self that I see the sex daily improving by moment and the next quarter-day. The these my speculations. My fair readers politician would be contented to lose three are already deeper scholars than the beaux. years in his life, could he place things in I could name some of them who talk much the posture which he fancies they will better than several gentleman that make a stand in after such a revolution of time. figure at Will's; and as I frequently receive The lover would be glad to strike out of letters from the fine ladies and pretty fel- his existence all the moments that are to lows, I cannot but observe that the former pass away before the happy meeting. Thus, are superior to the others, not only in the as fast as our time runs, we should be very sense but in the spelling. This cannot but glad in most part of our lives that it ran have a good effect upon the female world, much faster than it does. Several hours and keep them from being charmed by of the day hang upon our hands, nay, we those empty coxcombs that have hitherto wish away whole years; and travel through been admired among the women, though time as through a country filled with many laughed at among the men. wild and empty wastes, which we would

the more

I am credibly informed that Tom Tat- fain hurry over, that we may arrive at
tle passes for an impertinent fellow, that those several little settlements or imagi-
Will Trippet begins to be smoked, and that nary points of rest which are dispersed up
Frank Smoothly himself is within a month and down in it.

of a coxcomb, in case I think fit to continue If we divide the life of most men into
this paper.
For my part, as it is my busi- twenty parts, we shall find that at least
ness in some measure to detect such as nineteen of them are mere gaps and chasms,


which are neither filled with pleasure nor business. I do not however include in this calculation the life of those men who are in a perpetual hurry of affairs, but of those only who are not always engaged in scenes of action; and I hope I shall not do an unacceptable piece of service to these persons, if I point out to them certain methods for the filling up their empty spaces of life. The methods I shall propose to them are as follow.

dead, and perhaps employs even the twen tieth to his ruin or disadvantage? But because the mind cannot be always in its fervours, nor strained up to a pitch of virtue, it is necessary to find out proper emplovments for it in its relaxations.

The next method therefore that I would propose to fill up our time, should be useful and innocent diversions. I must confess I think it is below reasonable creatures to be altogether conversant in such diversions as The first is the exercise of virtue, in the are merely innocent, and have nothing else most general acceptation of the word. That to recommend them, but that there is no particular scheme which comprehends the hurt in them. Whether any kind of gamsocial virtues, may give employment to the ing has even thus much to say for itself, I most industrious temper, and find a man in shall not determine; but I think it very business more than the most active station wonderful to see persons of the best sense in life. To advise the ignorant, relieve the passing away a dozen hours together in needy, comfort the afflicted, are duties that shuffling and dividing a pack of cards, with fall in our way almost every day of our no other conversation but what is made up lives. A man has frequent opportunities of a few game phrases, and no other ideas of mitigating the fierceness of a party; of but those of black or red spots ranged todoing justice to the character of a deserv-gether in different figures. Would not a ing man; of softening the envious, quieting man laugh to hear any one of this species the angry, and rectifying the prejudiced; complaining that life is short? which are all of them employments suited to a reasonable nature, and bring great satisfaction to the person who can busy himself in them with discretion.

There is another kind of virtue that may find employment for those retired hours in which we are altogether left to ourselves, and destitute of company and conversation; I mean that intercourse and communication which every reasonable creature ought to maintain with the great Author of his being. The man who lives under an habitual sense of the divine presence keeps up a perpetual cheerfulness of temper, and enjoys every moment the satisfaction of thinking himself in company with his dearest and best of friends. The time never lies heavy upon him; it is impossible for him to be alone. His thoughts and passions are the most busied at such hours when those of other men are the most unactive. He no sooner steps out of the world but his heart burns with devotion, swells with hope, and triumphs in the consciousness of that presence which every where surrounds him; or on the contrary, pours out its fears, its sorrows, its apprehensions, to the great supporter of his existence.

I have here only considered the necessity of a man's being virtuous, that he may have something to do; but if we consider further, that the exercise of virtue is not only an amusement for the time it lasts, but that its influence extends to those parts of our existence which lie beyond the grave, and that our whole eternity is to take its colour from those hours which we here employ in virtue or in vice, the argument redoubles upon us, for putting in practice this method of passing away our time.

When a man has but a little stock to improve, and has opportunities of turning it all to good account, what shall we think of him if he suffers nineteen parts of it to lie

The stage might be made a perpetual source of the most noble and useful entertainments, were it under proper regulations.

But the mind never unbends itself so agreeably as in the conversation of a wellchosen friend. There is indeed no blessing of life that is in any way comparable to the enjoyment of a discreet and virtuous friend. It eases and unloads the mind, clears and improves the understanding, engenders thoughts and knowledge, animates virtue and good resolutions, soothes and allays the passions, and finds employment for most of the vacant hours of life.

Next to such an intimacy with a particular person, one would endeavour after a more general conversation with such as are able to entertain and improve those with whom they converse, which are qualifications that seldom go asunder.

There are many other useful amusements of life which one would endeavour to multiply, that one might on all occasions have recourse to something, rather than suffer the mind to lie idle, or run adrift with any passions that chance to rise in it.

A man that has a taste of music, painting, or architecture, is like one that has another sense, when compared with such as have no relish of those arts. The florist, the planter, the gardener, the husbandman, when they are only as accomplishments to the man of fortune, are great reliefs to a country life, and many ways useful to those who are possessed of them.

But of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors. But this I shall only touch upon, because it in some measure interferes with the third method, which I shall propose in another paper, for the employment of our dead unactive hours, and which I shall only

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mention in general to be the pursuit of subjects, or by entertaining a quick and


No. 94.] Monday, June 18, 1711.

-Hoc est

Vivere bis, vita posse priore frui.

Mart. Epig. xxiii. 10. The present joys of life we doubly taste, By looking back with pleasure on the past. THE last method which I proposed in my Saturday's paper, for filling up those empty spaces of life which are so tedious and burdensome to idle people, is the employing ourselves in the pursuit of knowledge. I remember Mr. Boyle, speaking of a certain mineral, tells us, that a man may consume his whole life in the study of it, without arriving at the knowledge of all its qualities. The truth of it is, there is not a single science, or any branch of it, that might not furnish a man with business for life, though it were much longer than

it is.

constant succession of ideas. Accordingly,
Monsieur Malebranche, in his Inquiry after
Truth, (which was published several years
before Mr. Locke's Essay on Human Un-
derstanding,) tells us, that it is possible
some creatures may think half an hour as
long as we do a thousand years; or look
upon that space of duration which we call
a minute, as an hour, a week, a month, or a
whole age.'

The notion of Monsieur Malebranche is
capable of some little explanation from
what I have quoted out of Mr. Locke; for
if our notion of time is produced by our re-
flecting on the succession of ideas in our
mind, and this succession may be infinitely
accelerated or retarded, it will follow, that
different beings may have different notions
of the same parts of duration, according as
their ideas, which we suppose are equally
distinct in each of them, follow one another
in a greater or less degree of rapidity.

There is a famous passage in the AlcoI shall not here engage on those beaten ran, which looks as if Mahomet had been subjects of the usefulness of knowledge, nor possessed of the notion we are now speakof the pleasure and perfection it gives the ing of. It is there said, that the angel mind; nor on the methods of obtaining it, Gabriel took Mahomet out of his bed one nor recommend any particular branch of it; morning to give him a sight of all things in all which have been the topics of many the seven heavens, in paradise, and in hell, other writers; but shall indulge myself in a which the prophet took a distinct view of; speculation that is more uncommon, and and after having held ninety thousand conmay therefore perhaps be more enter-ferences with God, was brought back again taining. to his bed. All this, says the Alcoran, was transacted in so small a space of time, that Mahomet at his return found his bed still warm, and took up an earthen pitcher which was thrown down at the very instant that the angel Gabriel carried him away, before the water was all spilt.*

I have before shown how the unemployed parts of life appear long and tedious, and shall here endeavour to show how those parts of life which are exercised in study, reading, and the pursuits of knowledge, are long, but not tedious, and by that means discover a method of lengthening our lives, and at the same time of turning all the parts

of them to our advantage.

There is a very pretty story in the Turkish Tales, which relates to this passage of that famous impostor, and bears some affinity to the subject we are now upon. A sultan of Egypt, who was an infidel, used to laugh at this circumstance in Mahomet's life, as what was altogether impossible and absurd: but conversing one day with a great doctor in the law, who had the gift of working miracles, the doctor told him he would quickly convince him of the truth of this passage in the history of Mahomet, if he would consent to do what he would desire of him. Upon this the sultan was directed to place himself by a huge tub of water, which he did accordingly; and as he stood by the tub amidst a circle of his great men, the holy man bid him plunge his head into the water, and draw it up again. The king accordingly thrust his head into the water, and at the same time found himself at the foot of a mountain on the sea-shore. The king immediately began to rage against his doctor for this piece of treachery and witch

Mr. Locke observes, That we get the idea of time or duration, by reflecting on that train of ideas which succeed one another in our minds; that for this reason, when we sleep soundly without dreaming, we have no perception of time, or the length of it while we sleep; and that the moment wherein we leave off to think, till the moment we begin to think again, seems to have no distance. To which the author adds, 'And so I doubt not but it would be to a waking man, if it were possible for him to keep only one idea in his mind, without variation, and the succession of others; and we see, that one who fixes his thoughts very intently on one thing, so as to take but little notice of the succession of ideas that pass in his mind whilst he is taken up with that earnest contemplation, lets slip out of his account a good part of that duration, and thinks that time shorter than it is.' We might carry this thought further, and consider a man as, on one side, shorten- This story is not to be found in the Alcoran, nor ing his time by thinking on nothing, or but can I meet with any life of the prophet where it is told

in these words; there is something like it in Simon's

a few things; so on the other, as lengthen- Critical History of the Belief of the Eastern Nations ing it, by employing his thoughts on many but it is less particular.

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Tuesday, June 19, 1711.


Cura leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent.--Seneca Trag
Light sorrows loose the tongue, but great enchain.-P

craft; but at length, knowing it was in vain | beautiful and spacious landscape divided to be angry, he set himself to think on pro-into delightful gardens, green meadows, per methods for getting a livelihood in this fruitful fields, and can scarce cast his eye strange country. Accordingly he applied on a single spot of his possessions, that is himself to some people whom he saw at not covered with some beautiful plant or work in a neighbouring wood: these peo- flower. ple conducted him to a town that stood at a little distance from the wood, where after some adventures, he married a woman of No. 95.] great beauty and fortune. He lived with this woman so long, that he had by her seven sons and seven daughters. He was afterwards reduced to great want, and forced to think of plying in the streets as a porter for his livelihood. One day as he was walking alone by the sea-side, being seized with many melancholy reflections upon his former and his present state of life, which had raised a fit of devotion in him, he threw off his clothes with a design to wash himself, according to the custom of the Mahometans, before he said his prayers.


After his first plunge into the sea, he no sooner raised his head above the water but he found himself standing by the side of the tub, with the great men of his court about him, and the holy man at his side. He immediately upbraided his teacher for having sent him on such a course of adventures, and betrayed him into so long a state of misery and servitude; but was wonderfully surprised when he heard that the state he talked of was only a dream and a delusion; that he had not stirred from the place where he then stood; and that he had only dipped his head into the water, and immediately taken it out again.

The Mahometan doctor took this occasion of instructing the sultan, that nothing was impossible with God; and that He, with whom a thousand years are but as one day, can, if he pleases, make a single day, nay, a single moment, appear to any of his creatures as a thousand years.

with much pleasure, I cannot but think the
HAVING read the two following letters
good sense of them will be as agreeable to
the town as any thing I could say either on
both allude to former papers of mine, and I
the topics they treat of, or any other; they
do not question but the first, which is upon
inward mourning, will be thought the pro-
duction of a man who is well acquainted
with the generous yearnings of distress in a
manly temper, which is above the relief of
tears. A speculation of my own on that
subject I shall defer till another occasion.
The second letter is from a lady of a mind
as great as her understanding. There is
perhaps something in the beginning of it
which I ought in modesty to conceal; but I
have so much esteem for this correspon-
dent, that I will not alter a tittle of what
the price of being ridiculous.
she writes, though I am thus scrupulous at

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I was very well pleased with your discourse upon general mourning, and should be obliged to you if you would enter into the matter more deeply, and give us your thoughts upon the common sense the ordinary people have of the demonstrations of grief, who prescribe rules and fashions to the most solemn affliction; such as the loss of the nearest relations and dearest friends. You cannot go to visit a I shall leave my reader to compare these sick friend, but some impertinent waiter eastern fables with the notions of those two about him observes the muscles of your great philosophers whom I have quoted in face, as strictly as if they were prognostics this paper; and shall only, by way of appli- of his death or recovery. If he happens to cation, desire him to consider how we may be taken from you, you are immediately extend life beyond its natural dimensions, surrounded with numbers of these spectaby applying ourselves diligently to the pur-tors, who expect a melancholy shrug of suits of knowledge.

The hours of a wise man are lengthened by his ideas, as those of a fool are by his passions. The time of the one is long, because he does not know what to do with it; so is that of the other, because he distinguishes every moment of it with useful or amusing thoughts; or, in other words, because the one is always wishing it away, and the other always enjoying it.

How different is the view of past life, in the man who is grown old in knowledge and wisdom, from that of him who is grown old in ignorance and folly! The latter is like the owner of a barren country, that fills his eye with the prospect of naked hills and plains, which produce nothing either profitable or ornamental; the other beholds a

your shoulders, a pathetical shake of your head, and an expressive distortion of your face, to measure your affection and value for the deceased. But there is nothing, on these occasions, so much in their favour as immoderate weeping. As all their passions are superficial, they imagine the seat of love and friendship to be placed visibly in the eyes. They judge what stock of kindness you had for the diving, by the quantity of tears you pour cut for the dead; so that if one body wants that quantity of saltwater another abounds with, he is in great danger of being thought insensible or illnatured. They are strangers to friendship whose grief happens not to be moist enough to wet such a parcel of handkerchiefs. But experience has told us, nothing is so

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fallacious as this outward sign of sorrow; | than the beaux, and that you could name
and the natural history of our bodies will some of them that talk much better than
teach us that this flux of the eyes, this fa- several gentlemen that make a figure at
culty of weeping, is peculiar only to some Will's. This may possibly be, and no great
constitutions. We observe in the tender compliment, in my opinion, even supposing
bodies of children, when crossed in their your comparison to reach Tom's and the
little wills and expectations, how dissolva- Grecian. Surely you are too wise to think
ble they are into tears. If this were what that the real commendation of a woman.
grief is in men, nature would not be able to Were it not rather to be wished we im-
support them in the excess of it for one proved in our own sphere, and approved
moment. Add to this observation, how ourselves better daughters, wives, mothers,
quick is their transition from this passion and friends?
to that of their joy! I will not say we see
often, in the next tender things to children,
tears shed without much grieving. Thus
it is common to shed tears without much
sorrow, and as common to suffer much sor-
row, without shedding tears. Grief and
weeping are indeed frequent companions:
but, I believe, never in their highest ex-
cesses. As laughter does not proceed from
profound joy, so neither does weeping from
profound sorrow.
The sorrow which ap-
pears so easily at the eyes, cannot have
pierced deeply into the heart. The heart
distended with grief, stops all the passages
for tears or lamentations.

'Now, sir, what I would incline you to in all this is, that you would inform the shallow critics and observers upon sorrow, that true affliction labours to be invisible, that it is a stranger to ceremony, and that it bears in its own nature a dignity much above the little circumstances which are affected under the notion of decency. You must know, sir, I have lately lost a dear friend, for whom I have not yet shed a tear, and for that reason your animadversions on that subject would be the more acceptable to, sir, your most humble servant,

'B. D.'

June the 15th.

'I cannot but agree with the judicious
trader in Cheapside (though I am not at all
prejudiced in his favour) in recommending
the study of arithmetic; and must dissent
even from the authority which you men-
tion, when it advises the making of our sex
scholars. Indeed a little more philosophy,
in order to the subduing our passions to our
reason, might be sometimes serviceable,
and a treatise of that nature I should ap-
prove of, even in exchange for Theodosius,
or the Force of Love; but as I well know
you want not hints, I will proceed no fur-
ther than to recommend the Bishop of Cam-
bray's Education of a Daughter, as it is
translated into the only language I have
any knowledge of, though perhaps very
much to its disadvantage. I have heard it
objected against that piece, that its instruc-
tions are not of general use, but only fitted
for a great lady; but I confess I am not of
that opinion; for I do not remember that
there are any rules laid down for the ex-
penses of a woman, in which particular only
think a gentlewoman ought to differ from
a lady of the best fortune, or highest qua-
lity, and not in their principles of justice,
gratitude, sincerity, prudence, or modesty.
I ought perhaps to make an apology for this
long epistle; but as I rather believe you a
friend to sincerity, than ceremony, shall
only assure you I am, sir, your humble




MR. SPECTATOR,-As I hope there are
but few who have so little gratitude as not
to acknowledge the usefulness of your pen,
and to esteem it a public benefit; so I am
sensible, be that as it will, you must never-
theless find the secret and incomparable No. 96.] Wednesday, June 20, 1711.

pleasure of doing good, and be a great
sharer in the entertainment you give. I
our sex to be much obliged,

and I hope improved by your labours, and
even' your intentions more particularly for



Mancipium domino, et frugi

Hor. Lib. 2. Sat. vii. 2.
-The faithful servant, and the true.-Creech.

our service. If it be true, as it is sometimes 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I have frequently
said, that our sex have an influence on the read your discourse upon servants, and as I
other, your paper may be yet a more ge- am one myself, have been much offended,
neral good. Your directing us to reading, that in that variety of forms wherein you
is certainly the best means to our instruc- considered the bad, you found no place to
tion; but I think, with you, caution in that mention the good. There is however one
particular very useful, since the improve- observation of yours I approve, which is,
ment of our understandings may, or may
"That there are men of wit and good sense
not, be of service to us, according as it is among all orders of men, and that servants
managed. It has been thought we are not report most of the good or ill which is
generally so ignorant as ill-taught, or that spoken of their masters."
our sex does not so often want wit, judgment, men of sense who live in servitude, I have
or knowledge, as the right application of the vanity to say I have felt to my woful
them. You are so well-bred, as to say your experience. You attribute very justly the
fair readers are already deeper scholars source of our general iniquity to board-

That there are

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